odds and ends

i must not be getting enough sleep.  tonight my daughter told me i was talking crazy, when i was just sitting there chatting with her friends.  and here i am, it’s already 2, and i’m thinking about mixing up another batch of epoxy and gluing on the gloves and detail brushes. (right. no.  it’s 3 and i’m going to bed now.)

my kid observed, not unkindly, that i was taking forever finishing this project.  i agreed with her.  indeed, i’ve been thinking of little else lately.  my back wants me to finish as quickly as possible.  so does my daybook.  and my doggies want me in bed all night long instead of down here.

and, really, how many times can i heat up the same cup of coffee?  by the time i go to bed, i’m bleary eyed.  i know what that means now.  it means when your eyes don’t work anymore, and you have to zoom in a bunch before you can see anything on the screen.  and you can’t focus no matter how much you squint.  and squinting takes a whole lot of energy.

the assembled bits and pieces of the plan

i decided i was going to have to glue the plan down to a bottom sheet of paper, because trying to use tape to stick everything to itself just didn’t seem archival enough.  so i got some tracing paper out, and started taping the pieces down.

i took the liberty of putting several coffee rings on the margins.  i’ve seen working plans, and they’ve got fingerprints and coffee stains and ripped edges and all sorts of damage.  i’ll go lightly on the damage, but not too much.

the way these insets are coming together is going to make real engineers scratch their heads.  i cut out the most interesting parts of the page they gave me, and am now sticking them together in interesting ways that won’t make any sense, but will give a good idea of how complex the whole project was.  i mean, you should have seen the place, it was crawling with pipes of all sizes, an aesthetic i really appreciate.

rather than deal with the careful cutting the plan is going to require, i turned my attention to the pipe the plans are going to go around.  it’s 2″ pvc, or is it 1.5″?  probably the latter.  anyway, it’s cut to the length of the rolled up plan, and ready to stick to the dolphin.  so i made up a big batch of putty, and put it down on the side of the dolphin, and started burying the pipe into the putty.

and then i remembered how i had wanted to tie the pipe down to the dolphin with something wrapped around it.  something laid over it and buried at both ends in putty.

2″ pipe wrapped with t-shirt material

so i had to dig the pipe out of the putty.  it was a lot of putty.  i stuck it on the dolphin’s side and cleaned the scrapings off with a wad of putty.  the big lump fell off while i was doing this, and i noticed, but didn’t track it with my eyes.  and when i went to look for it, the fairies had taken it.  i have fairies in the studio, yes i do.

so i went upstairs and got dinner, and sat here reading the news and eating dinner, and then i cleaned up the studio, putting all that stuff on the floor onto the table in the middle of the studio instead.  i was just complaining about how messy it’s gotten here.  so, good.  i’m going to spread it all out when i’m done and take a photo.

and then i found the lump of putty.  where i’d looked before, mind you.

i made up another batch of putty and got out a spare t-shirt that i’d already cut into, and made a long 2″ strip, which i got wet, saturated with molding paste, and wrapped around the pipe a few times, leaving ends that i’m going to anchor to the dolphin.

stuck on with epoxy putty

and here you can see it actually stuck on to the dolphin.  the ends have spread over smushed putty, and pressed down, and the adges near the pipe have been covered over in putty.  you can’t see this, because it’s hidden by the pipe.

one thing, the pipe doesn’t really look like he’s carrying it under his arm.  it looks that way from the front, but from the side it looks like it’s hanging behind him.  i’m afraid this is because it’s at this angle that i could get the greatest contact with the least amount of pipe exposed to prying hands.  oh well.

1/4″ tubes and their supports

while i was at the mckenney’s dolphin, i put in supports for the still somewhat wobbly 1/4″ tubes.  i’d already coated them with epoxy putty, and they were much stiffer, but still had just that little bit of wobble in them.  so i cut lengths of 1/4″ tubing and braced the pipes in three places, one to the dolphin, one to the skimmer, and one between the two pipes near the red turny thing.  maybe that’ll do it.  certainly increases the complexity.

stuff that still has to go on

well, and here’s all the rest of the stuff that has to go on the home depot dolphin, except for the drill.  from top left corner:  back pocket seams, black electrical cord, paint can lid, carpenter’s pencil, sanding pad, artist brushes, 3″ paintbrush, glove top halves.

that’s a lot.  oh yeah and the handle of the paint roller.

by the way, yesterday i stuck a finger into the plaster over the roller, to see if it was still squishy.  and it was.  the plaster wasn’t set, and the roller was still soft.  it cracked and pushed right in.  bother, i thought, and then resolved to not touch it for a few days, and go extra heavy on the primer.

also, the plaster i poured over the bumpy surface in the paint tray has flaked off continually, at the least pressure.  while i was sticking putty on the handle, i kept leaning on it and brushing against it, and it kept falling off.  more primer, i guess.  what am i doing wrong with the plaster – could it just be too thin?

paint can lid on a curlicue

the paint can lid was straightforward.  it just took a whole lot of putty to fill the curlicue enough to stick the lid onto.  i was careful to bring the putty up over the lip, to anchor it.

sanding pad stuck and glue tube finished

this is the sanding pad, stuck on with putty.  this time i didn’t bother filling the low spots in all the way, because i’ve got good contact over the rest of it.  it’s still flexible, the sponge is, and i’m going to have to put putty all the way around the pad, which why did i bother if i’m only going to cover it up?

making sure te brush stays put

and with the last of my putty (except for a little bit left – i’m going to need more putty – surprise) i crammed putty all around the brush, smoothing it all out with orange oil.  i had to fill in a dip where the mouth hollows out.  i was surprised to see a water catcher right there, but on a normal dolphin it probably drains just fine.

as for the drill, i set it up where it goes today, and it fits so well i don’t think i’m going to bother fitting a drill bit into it.  i’ll just pretend it’s drilled into the wavelet.  i did notice, tho, that the side i’d put the drill’s logo, which was the side it actually was on, is the hidden size when the drill is in place.  so i had to scrape my signature off the side it was on, and find a suitable font to write the logo in properly, since i had a second chance.  i found a font and printed it out, and transfered the lettering to the panel where the logo goes, and took a carving tool and carved it in.  voila, a good looking logo.  i also continued building up the flatness of the seam, and going around all the etched lines accentuating them with a tool.  i’m still kind of waiting for it to finish drying before i stick it on and prime it.  but i can’t finish with the electric cord until i’ve got it stuck on, so i’ll get to it really soon.

it does feel like it’s taking forever.  i’m doing all these things every day, and there’s so much more to do that it really does feel endless and fruitless.

until i page back a few posts.


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